Redesigned, cheap, and small iPhone SE: Apple's iPhone 13 mini spiritual successor to check every box

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Redesigned, cheap, and small iPhone SE: Apple's iPhone 13 mini spiritual successor to check every bo
That's right. It's not the end of the compact iPhone. Although it's 99% certain that Apple isn't making an iPhone 14 mini, the smaller form factor isn't going anywhere yet.

For starters, what's for sure is that the iPhone 13 mini will remain on sale (perhaps at $599) after the iPhone 14 is released. Just like the iPhone 12 mini when the iPhone 13 series came out.

And while the iPhone 13 mini will be replaced by an iPhone 14 Max, thanks to the growing demand for bigger phones, it is now expected that Apple will give us another small iPhone - this time as an SE release. The information comes from the so-far 100% reliable display analyst, Ross Young, which is a good sign.

Let's see if it's worth waiting for Apple's new new iPhone SE.

Apple's new mini iPhone: Redesigned, cheap, and SE

The model in question isn't the upcoming iPhone SE Plus 5G, which is said to be unveiled on March 8, 2022. This one is now almost certain to stick to the iPhone 8 design, which some love and others tolerate.

It's Apple's next iPhone SE release that might bring something more exciting to the table for those on a budget. Ross Young reports that the successor to the iPhone SE Plus 5G will finally give us the long-awaited redesign, reminiscent of the iPhone 11 - yes, with a notch. Love it or hate it; take it or leave it.

However, the redesigned iPhone SE is now expected to come with a brand new (for Apple) 5.7-inch display. That's indeed small, but it's also unlike any iPhone screen size we've seen before.

The reason why Apple might want to make the SE's display even smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro's 5.8-inch screen is the slightly thicker bezels the SE will have if it takes after the iPhone 11's bezels.

Ross Young now says the redesigned iPhone SE is likely to come out as early as next year. However, what would be more in line with Apple's new release schedule, would be if the redesigned iPhone SE came out in 2024.

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By the looks of it, Apple now commits to releasing a new iPhone SE at least every two years instead of every four years, which was the gap between the first and second SE generations. But perhaps Apple wants an even bigger slice of the mid-range phone market, so Tim Cook & Co are about to get even more aggressive? Only time will show.

iPhone SE 2023/2024: Here's what you can expect

So, based on the leaked information about Apple's long-term plans in regards to the SE lineup, we can say that the redesigned iPhone SE is expected to look a lot like an iPhone 11 from the front, except noticeably smaller.

Display and unlocking method

What's also safe to assume, given that Apple has chosen to model the SE after the iPhone 11, is that we'll have an LCD display instead of OLED. Still, this LCD screen should be noticeably sharper compared to the iPhone 11, thanks to the smaller screen size.

Face ID is expected to finally make its way onto the budget iPhone SE lineup since the notch is said to remain in place. However, given the budget nature of Apple's SE phones, there's a chance we might see a side-mounted Touch ID fingerprint reader reminiscent of the one on the iPad Air (2020). Then the notch would be there just for show. Although, it's not like Apple hasn't done that already. Looking at you, MacBook Pro (2021).

While I'd personally love to see Touch ID make a comeback, Face ID must be affordable enough to produce, so I don't see why Apple wouldn't go with it, especially if the space is already there.


When it comes to power, it's safe to assume Apple will give the iPhone SE 2023 the iPhone 14's A16 chip, which most certainly will run circles around everything Qualcomm, Samsung, or Google have or will have on offer.

That's, of course, if Ross Young's prediction for an earlier than usual release comes true. If the next iPhone SE follows the more logical release pattern and comes out in 2024, then we'd be looking at an A17 processor, which of course, is expected to be borrowed from the iPhone 15 series.


However, probably the most exciting feature of the iPhone SE 2023/2024 will be the fact that it'll finally have enough space for a bigger battery.

How big? Well, given that the redesigned iPhone SE must be very similar in size to the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple will definitely be able to give it the same 3046 mAh cell. This would be a whopping 67% increase from the tiny 1821 mAh capacity of the current iPhone SE (2020).

Of course, such massive upgrades aren't exactly in Apple's style, so it's highly likely that the redesigned iPhone SE might use the iPhone X/XS' 2716/2658 mAh cell. Still, this would be a massive improvement over what we have now, especially combined with Apple's more efficient processors.


When it comes to cameras, it's expected that Apple will finally upgrade the iPhone SE with a 12MP selfie shooter, as well as a new rear camera sensor, which we don't expect to see on this year's SE release.

This would be a much-needed and much-appreciated upgrade that'll bring significant gains to the iPhone SE's camera experience in terms of photo and video quality. Especially given that Apple's computational photography and videography game also keeps getting better.

Remember, the iPhone 14/15's photo and video processing will likely make its way onto the SE 2023/2024.

iPhone SE 2023/2024: Checking every box… for everyone?

The iPhone SE 2023/2024 will be a very logical step for Apple. A safe one, too - here's nothing groundbreaking or risky about it, but that's exactly what the SE series is all about.

Apple takes the latest and greatest iPhone chip, which always comes with improvements in performance, battery life, and camera processing; repackages it into a familiar, albeit older iPhone body, and off to the races.

Although the redesigned iPhone SE might miss on features like ProMotion, MagSafe, or Apple's new punch-hole screen design, at $399, it'd give Android mid-rangers some stiff competition.

Unimpressive battery life has been the only major issue with Apple's iPhone SE (2020), so solving that would make recommending the redesigned iPhone SE a very easy task. On the other hand, the rumored 5.7-inch screen size seems like a perfect solution for everyone - it's not too small or too big.

This will automatically make the redesigned iPhone SE:

  1. Much more appealing, compared to the current 4.7-inch screen size with huge bezels
  2. The new mini iPhone as it's going to be the smallest iPhone once it comes out

On a personal note, this looks like the dream budget iPhone for me, who likes to use Android phones full-time. I still need and want to have an iPhone, though, which is why I'm now rocking an iPhone 8 alongside my Google Pixel 6 Pro. It doesn't only keep me up to date with iOS, but it's also much more compact and easy to carry around when I don't need the huge Pixel.

Finally, take this analysis with a grain of salt, as we're talking about a phone that's at least a year away. Moreover, if the rumors are true, the iPhone SE Plus 5G is expected to debut in just a few weeks. Let's see if this one would tempt me to upgrade from my iPhone 8 before the redesigned model is out!

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